My Favorite Filmmakers

by FlameAxelVIII | created - 01 Mar 2011 | updated - 24 Apr 2013 | Public

Directors and Screenwriters

1. Joss Whedon

Writer | Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Joss Whedon is the middle of five brothers - his younger brothers are Jed Whedon and Zack Whedon. Both his father, Tom Whedon and his grandfather, John Whedon were successful television writers. Joss' mother, Lee Stearns, was a history teacher and she also wrote novels as Lee Whedon. Whedon was ...

Favorite Works: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly/Serenity, Dollhouse, Angel, The Avengers, Cabin in the Woods

2. Quentin Tarantino

Writer | Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Jerome Tarantino was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. His father, Tony Tarantino, is an Italian-American actor and musician from New York, and his mother, Connie (McHugh), is a nurse from Tennessee. Quentin moved with his mother to Torrance, California, when he was four years old.

In January of...

Favorite Works: Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown

3. Stanley Kubrick

Director | 2001: A Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick was born in Manhattan, New York City, to Sadie Gertrude (Perveler) and Jacob Leonard Kubrick, a physician. His family were Jewish immigrants (from Austria, Romania, and Russia). Stanley was considered intelligent, despite poor grades at school. Hoping that a change of scenery would ...

Favorite Works: The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange

4. Paul Thomas Anderson

Director | Punch-Drunk Love

Anderson was born in 1970. He was one of the first of the "video store" generation of film-makers. His father was the first man on his block to own a V.C.R., and from a very early age Anderson had an infinite number of titles available to him. While film-makers like Spielberg cut their teeth making...

Favorite Works: Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood

5. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

Favorite Works: Blue Velvet, Mulholland Dr., Eraserhead, Twin Peaks

6. Charlie Kaufman

Writer | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Avid reader Charlie Kaufman wrote plays and made short films as a young student. He moved from Massapequa, New York to West Hartford, Connecticut in 1972 where he attended high school. As a comedic actor, he performed in school plays and, after graduation, he enrolled at Boston University but soon ...

Favorite Works: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich

7. David Fincher

Director | Se7en

David Fincher was born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado, and was raised in Marin County, California. When he was 18 years old he went to work for John Korty at Korty Films in Mill Valley. He subsequently worked at ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) from 1981-1983. Fincher left ILM to direct TV commercials...

Favorite Works: Fight Club, the Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

8. Mike White

Writer | Chuck & Buck

Mike White was born on June 28, 1970 in Pasadena, California, USA as Michael Christopher White. He is a writer and producer, known for Chuck & Buck (2000), The Good Girl (2002) and School of Rock (2003).

Favorite Works: Enlightened, School of Rock, The Good Girl

9. Steven Soderbergh

Director | Sex, Lies, and Videotape

Steven Andrew Soderbergh was born on January 14, 1963 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, the second of six children of Mary Ann (Bernard) and Peter Soderbergh. His father was of Swedish and Irish descent, and his mother was of Italian ancestry. While he was still at a very young age, his family moved to ...

Favorite Works: The Informant!, Contagion, Haywire, Side Effects

10. Alfred Hitchcock

Director | Psycho

Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was born in Leytonstone, Essex, England. He was the son of Emma Jane (Whelan; 1863 - 1942) and East End greengrocer William Hitchcock (1862 - 1914). His parents were both of half English and half Irish ancestry. He had two older siblings, William Hitchcock (born 1890) and ...

Favorite Works: Psycho, The Birds

11. Darren Aronofsky

Director | Pi

Darren Aronofsky was born February 12, 1969, in Brooklyn, New York. Growing up, Darren was always artistic: he loved classic movies and, as a teenager, he even spent time doing graffiti art. After high school, Darren went to Harvard University to study film (both live-action and animation). He won ...

Favorite Works: Black Swan, Requiem For a Dream, The Fountain

12. Todd Solondz

Director | Welcome to the Dollhouse

Todd Solondz was born in Newark, New Jersey. One of his earliest jobs in the film industry was when, as a young man, he worked as a messenger for the Writers' Guild of America. During this time, he wrote several screenplays.

Solondz's first color film with sync sound was the short "Schatt's Last ...

Favorite Works: Welcome to the Dollhouse, Happiness

13. Woody Allen

Writer | Manhattan

Woody Allen was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York, to Nettie (Cherrie), a bookkeeper, and Martin Konigsberg, a waiter and jewellery engraver. His father was of Russian Jewish descent, and his maternal grandparents were Austrian Jewish immigrants. As a young boy...

Favorite Works: Annie Hall, Match Point, Sleepers, Midnight in Paris

14. Ti West

Director | The Sacrament

Ti West was born on October 5, 1980 in Wilmington, Delaware, USA. He is a director and writer, known for The Sacrament (2013), The Innkeepers (2011) and The House of the Devil (2009).

Favorite Works: The House of the Devil, V/H/S (segment), The Innkeepers

15. Jason Reitman

Producer | Up in the Air

Jason Reitman was born on October 19, 1977 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is a producer and director, known for Up in the Air (2009), Thank You for Smoking (2005) and Juno (2007). He was previously married to Michele Lee.

Favorite Works: Juno, Up in the Air, Young Adult

16. Diablo Cody

Writer | Young Adult

Diablo Cody is originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Minnesota to live with her Internet boyfriend, Jonny who later became her husband. While there, she decided on a whim to take up stripping as a hobby of sorts.

She was working at an ad agency and got a promotion. The job wore her ragged ...

Favorite Works: Juno, United States of Tara, Young Adult

17. Sofia Coppola

Writer | Lost in Translation

Sofia Coppola was born on May 14, 1971 in New York City, New York, USA as Sofia Carmina Coppola. She is a director, known for Somewhere (2010), Lost in Translation (2003) and Marie Antoinette (2006). She has been married to Thomas Mars since August 27, 2011. They have two children. She was ...

Favorite Works: Lost in Translation, The Virgin Suicides

18. Brad Bird

Writer | The Incredibles

Phillip Bradley "Brad" Bird is an American director, screenwriter, animator, producer and occasional voice actor, known for both animated and live-action films. Bird was born in Kalispell, Montana, the youngest of four children of Marjorie A. (née Cross) and Philip Cullen Bird. His father worked in...

Favorite Works: All Pixar films, MI:4

19. Aaron Sorkin

Writer | The West Wing

Aaron Sorkin grew up in Scarsdale, a suburb of New York City where he was very involved in his high school drama and theater club. After graduating from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, Sorkin intended to pursue a career in acting. It took him only a short time to ...

Favorite Works: The Social Network, Moneyball

20. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Interstellar

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

Favorite Works: The Dark Knight, Inception, Memento

21. Duncan Jones

Director | Moon

Duncan Jones was born on May 30, 1971 in Bromley, Kent, England as Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones. He is a director and writer, known for Moon (2009), Source Code (2011) and Warcraft (2016). He has been married to Rodene Ronquillo since November 6, 2012. They have one child.

Favorite Works: Moon, Source Code

22. Edgar Wright

Director | Shaun of the Dead

Edgar Howard Wright (born 18 April 1974) is an English director, screenwriter, producer, and actor. He is best known for his comedic Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy consisting of Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007), and The World's End (2013), made with recurrent collaborators Simon Pegg...

Favorite Works: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz

23. Mike Judge

Writer | Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

Mike Judge was born on October 17, 1962 in Guayaquil, Ecuador as Michael Craig Judge. He is a writer and producer, known for Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996), Beavis and Butt-Head (1993) and King of the Hill (1997).

Favorite Works: King of the Hill, Beavis and Butthead

24. Tim Burton

Producer | Edward Scissorhands

Timothy Walter Burton was born in Burbank, California, to Jean Rae (Erickson), who owned a cat-themed gift shop, and William Reed Burton, who worked for the Burbank Park and Recreation Department. He spent most of his childhood as a recluse, drawing cartoons, and watching old movies (he was ...

Favorite Works: Corpse Bride, Sweeney Todd, Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice

25. Ang Lee

Director | Wo hu cang long

Born in 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Ang graduated from the National Taiwan College of Arts in 1975 and then came to the U.S. to receive a B.F.A. Degree in Theatre/Theater Direction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ...

Favorite Works: Brokeback Mountain, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

26. Kevin Williamson

Writer | Scream

Grew up in the New Bern, NC area. There is an actual Dawsons Creek in Oriental, NC where Williamson grew up.

Favorite Works: Scream series

27. Alan Ball

Producer | American Beauty

Alan Ball was born on May 13, 1957 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA as Alan E. Ball. He is a producer and writer, known for American Beauty (1999), Six Feet Under (2001) and True Blood (2008).

Favorite Works: American Beauty, Six Feet Under

28. Ben Affleck

Producer | Argo

American actor and filmmaker Benjamin Géza Affleck-Boldt was born on August 15, 1972 in Berkeley, California, and was raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher, and his father, Timothy Byers Affleck, is a social worker; the two are divorced. Ben has...

Favorite Works: The Town, Argo

29. Lars von Trier

Writer | Dancer in the Dark

Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...

Favorite Works: Melancholia

30. Neil Marshall

Director | Dog Soldiers

Neil Marshall was born on May 25, 1970 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He is a director and producer, known for Dog Soldiers (2002), The Descent (2005) and Doomsday (2008). He was previously married to Axelle Carolyn.

Favorite Works: The Descent, Game of Thrones "Blackwater"

31. J.J. Abrams

Producer | Lost

J.J. Abrams was born on June 27, 1966 in New York City, New York, USA as Jeffrey Jacob Abrams. He is a producer and writer, known for Lost (2004), Star Trek (2009) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). He has been married to Katie McGrath since 1996. They have three children.

Favorite Works: Lost, Alias, Star Trek, Super 8, MI:3

32. Wes Anderson

Writer | Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wesley Wales Anderson was born in Houston, Texas. His mother, Texas Ann (Burroughs), is an archaeologist turned real estate agent, and his father, Melver Leonard Anderson, worked in advertising and PR. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an ...

Favorite Works: Moonrise Kingdom, Rushmore

33. Guillermo del Toro

Writer | El laberinto del fauno

Guillermo del Toro was born October 9, 1964 in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico. Raised by his Catholic grandmother, del Toro developed an interest in filmmaking in his early teens. Later, he learned about makeup and effects from the legendary Dick Smith (The Exorcist (1973)) and worked on making his ...

Favorite Works: Pan's Labyrinth